Aging + Gun Violence: The American Dream?

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When White-hot hate hits: Is anyone safe?

Keeping It REAL Caregiving would like to recognize the various social justice, research, aging, and media organizations which have shared bold statements condemning the hateful and deadly shooting attack carried out in Buffalo, New York May 14, 2022.

Yet again our nation is faced with a violent shooting rampage leaving 10 people dead and three others wounded. That number doesn’t take into the account how many others will forever be traumatized by the horror of the attack. As you know the shooter specifically targeted an African American community.

Many of those gunned down as they went about their regular routines of simply shopping at their local grocery store, were older adults.

For this correspondent, this act rips at my soul. It hurts. It could have been me. It could have been my family. It could have been one of my relatives.

I think of elder African Americans who have worked hard, fought and many who have died for our country.

Many have lived and survived our nation even through years of racism, segregation, societal slights, and yet still managed to overcome – to rise above disparities in employment, housing and medical care. All that, to have a hate-filled White man claim their lives.

Who would have thought we would ever be talking about the reality of our senior population becoming targets of such a horrific display of white supremacy and sheer evil?

I am filled with rage, sorrow and disappointment. In my heart I believe people (for the most part) are better than this. (Or so I hope…)

Courtesy: Adobe Stock

As a lifelong journalist who has covered all manner of disturbing incidents and crime, sadly – I also am realistic in the belief there are many others out there like this latest shooter who celebrate moments of this level of hatred.

Silence is complicity

I also believe there are many others who understand the gravity of the continued assaults on people of color and injustices towards our elderly, who will stand up and keep fighting for what is right.

Here are a handful of various organizations which have responded to the Buffalo and other mass shootings in recent days.

Courtesy: Screenshot American Society on Aging

American Society on Aging

American Society on Aging President Peter Kaldes penned this opinion piece, asking tough questions about the intersections of such violence and the impact on elders.

Because, in the end, all of the hottest topics in 2022—mass shootings, abortion, India’s heat wave, the war in Ukraine, the Jan. 6 riot, but most unrelenting, the hate and racism that fuels localized violence—are all in our lane. Because which of these does not concern older people?

Read the full article here: Stepping Out of Our Lane


Courtesy: Screenshot Justice in Aging

Justice in Aging

Justice in Aging is devastated, sick, and angry about the recent mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, Dallas, Texas, and Orange County, California, and we bear witness in solidarity with the communities impacted by these latest incidences of violence and hate. The tragic and unnecessary loss of lives, many of those older adults, is a collective trauma experienced by these communities and the families of the victims.

In many of these crimes, a majority of those shot are older adults. In Buffalo, 11 of 13 victims, including nine people who were murdered, are age 50 and older…

Read the full statement here


Courtesy: Screenshot The John A. Hartford Foundation

The John A. Hartford Foundation

“The racial targeting and killing of innocent people in Buffalo, many of whom were older adults, is abhorrent, as were the awful deaths and injuries caused by recent mass shootings in other communities across the country,” said Terry Fulmer, PhD, RN, FAAN, President of The John A. Hartford Foundation. “We stand with the communities affected and remain committed to creating an equitable and just society where we can all age with dignity, respect and without fear of violence or hatred.”

Read the full statement here


Courtesy: Screenshot National Associaton of Black Journalists

National Association of Black Journalists

We extend our prayers and thoughts to the families who have lost their loved ones, those who have suffered injuries, and the journalists covering this traumatic incident. We especially extend our arms to the Black journalists who once again must report on a story of horrific racial violence while grasping the fact that it could have easily been them or a loved one who lost their lives that day. We encourage news managers to ensure the proper resources are in place to help Black journalists cope with such trauma and encourage our members reporting this story to take care of their mental health.

Read the full statement here

How are you feeling/processing the events of the last week? Jump into the discussion and let’s share.

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Connect the dots

*Related articles: United States of Aging: will we see beyond our differences enough to care for others?

You often hear me use the term ‘connect the dots.’ I urge all of you to do so at this moment.

Take stock of those in your spheres of work, personal life, care-circles and more. Ask yourselves: do those closest to you exhibit actions and utter words which support equality, respect, safety and kindness for all?

If we are to properly care for each other now and as we age, then addressing the depths of hatred towards others which exists within our society (and seems to be thriving), must be a starting point.

The alternative is simply too horrifying to consider.

Until next time~


*Header Image: Mass Shooting in Buffalo New York Leaves 10 Dead

BUFFALO, NY – MAY 15: People gather at the scene of a mass shooting at Tops Friendly Market at Jefferson Avenue and Riley Street on Sunday, May 15, 2022 in Buffalo, NY. The fatal shooting of 10 people at a grocery store in a historically Black neighborhood of Buffalo by a young white gunman is being investigated as a hate crime and an act of racially motivated violent extremism, according to federal officials. (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)/Courtesy:Kent Nishimura / Contributor